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James Crooke papers

 Collection — Box: Single Folder Collections - 2005 Box, Folder: 05.0172 - Folder 1
Identifier: 02-05.0172

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of an oral history transcript of an interview with 2nd Lt. James J. Crooke, who served in World War II. Crooke served in the Army Air Corps with the 303rd Bomb Group in the European Theater (ETO).


  • 1921-1945
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1943
  • Other: Date acquired: 12/15/2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast works from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience must be requested and granted in writing by the director of the Institute. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Institute on World War II as the owner of the physical items and the copyright holder. Possession of a copy of an item does not constitute permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast it. The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience reserves the right to refuse permission to individuals and publishers who have not complied with its policies. Permission fees must be paid before images are provided. Please contact the director of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience for current publication and duplication rates.

Biographical or Historical Information

James Crooke was born on April 11, 1921. Crooke was born in Pensacola Florida to James Joseph Crooke, Sr. and Claude Tresa Milstead Crooke. He graduated from Pensacola High School in 1939, and studied at the University of Florida until he was prompted to enlist following the invasion of Pearl Harbor in 1941. He went through 14 months of training at Ft. Myers, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama; Douglas, Georgia; Munroe, Louisiana, and Alexandria, Louisiana, for the Army Air Corps. He became a Second Lt. Navigator on a B-17 bomber.

Based out of Molesworth, England, Crooke then flew B-17s. He flew 30 missions with the Third Bomber Group, which flew many combat missions and took many losses. While on a bombing mission to Czechoslovakia, he was shot down over Germany and became a POW. He explains his POW experiences in which there were originally 6,000 U.S. captives, but by the time they were liberated by the Russians, the number of prisoners had increased to 10,000. He was a POW for eight months and did not get Red Cross packages because the Germans stole them. This was a violation of the Geneva Convention. He lost 25 pounds. After the war, he returned to the University of Florida and enrolled in the School of Architecture where he graduated in May 1950. He practiced architecture in Pensacola and the panhandle until retiring in the mid-1990s. He was married to his wife, Theresa, for 65 years, and had two daughters and multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren. James Crooke passed on January 7, 2013, in Pensacola, FL.


1 folders

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note


Custodial History

This collection was donated by James Crooke. The collection was acquired by the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience on December 15, 2005.



James Crooke papers
Craig Whittington
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Institute on WWII and the Human Experience Repository